Oz counters carpetbagger attacks from sidelined but not offline Fetterman

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The race in the Pennsylvania Senate — a contest poised to help shape the balance of power in Washington over the next two years — defies national trends and becomes an open struggle over the state’s roots between two distinguished candidates.

Democrat John Fetterman, the 6-foot-8 governor, has been out of the public eye for two months. recovering from stroke. He hasn’t appeared at a public event since May and instead Bend over viral memes Reality TV star “Snooki” From “Jersey Shore” and aerial advertising to belittle his Republican opponent as a carpet pager from neighboring New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Oz, the very wealthy celebrity doctor endorsed by former President Donald Trump, seeks to surpass ugly basic Convincing working-class Pennsylvania that he cares about the issues that keep them up at night. He also seeks to portray Fetterman as Leaning too left for Keystone State.

For now, Fetterman seems to have the upper hand. It’s also somewhat of an anomaly as a Democratic Senate candidate who is not an incumbent but still maintains a comfortable lead in the polls in a highly competitive country.

Fetterman has led Oz in two statewide polls in recent weeks — by 9 percentage points in a USA Today/Suffolk Polland by 6 points in a The survey was conducted jointly by the Republican firm Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, and the Democratic firm Impact Research. The two surveys have a common theme: Oz has a dangerously high unfavorable rating.

In an attempt to counter this image, the Oz campaign accused Fetterman of hiding from Pennsylvania, insisting that the election would be decided on issues like gas prices and groceries — not Internet posts.

“Fetterman hasn’t faced voters in months – but he did have time for a family vacation on the Jersey Shore,” Oz Communications Director Brittany Yannick said in an email. “Now that he’s back, Jon Fetterman can’t hide from the electorate forever.”

Fetterman communications director Joe Calvello responded: “John just visited – Dr. Oz still basically lives there.”

“Not all of us have a $48 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida with their own private beach like Oz,” Calvilo said in an email, describing Oz as a “famous and millionaire TV star from New Jersey” with “no real connections to Pennsylvania.”

Fetterman leads Oz in fundraising

On the fundraising front, Fetterman brought in $26.1 million, with $5.5 million in cash on hand. Oz raised just $4.7 million and loaned the campaign $14.3 million, with only $1.1 million in cash on hand. Since his initial wins in May, Fetterman has spent $1.7 million on television advertising. Oz spent $18,000 on radio and digital broadcasts, but nothing on television.

These advantages, even with Fetterman’s campaigning from within, allayed fears among Democrats afterwards Their candidate’s initial lack of transparency raised concerns It was not up to the task. since then Reveal more information He is gradually increasing his presence at campaign events, appearing unannounced to speak to volunteers followed by plans to attend a fundraiser Thursday in Philadelphia.

He gave a remote interview on Wednesday with Pittsburgh Post GazetteHe dealt with the speech habits he developed after his stroke.

“I might miss a word now and then in a conversation, or I might miss a couple of words. Until then, I think this is rare,” he told the newspaper. He said his “hearing is still somewhat imperfect” but that he has no limits physically and walks 4 to 5 miles every day.

The York County native, who was mayor of the small, economically hollow town of Braddock near Pittsburgh, said he was “absolutely, 100 percent capable of running fully and winning.”

Fetterman’s campaign does not allow journalists into Thursday’s fundraiser — or anywhere close to it, for now — and has not provided details on when the event will be held next year.

“John will be on the campaign trail very soon. He’s 93% back to full strength and getting better,” Calvillo said in response to email questions from NBC News, adding that he works with campaign staff “daily” and talks to senators in Washington “Regularly” around the race.

Fetterman has been in contact with Democratic members of the Pennsylvania delegation to Congress.

“I’ve spoken to him a few times recently, one via video chat. [His wife] Gisele was working, too. It looks great – it looks slimmer, but it’s very good,” said Representative Madeleine Dean. “I am very proud of him. He will be our next senator.”

Senator Bob Casey said in an interview that Fetterman is “in a very strong position indeed, although it’s too early and you shouldn’t take anything for it.” He cited Fetterman’s victory in the primaries amid “deep and possibly lasting divisions” on the Republican Party after Oz defeated businessman David McCormick and far-right Cathy Barnett in a harsh primary.

crazier than you think

Yannick played down the fundraising gap between the candidates, vowing that the Oz campaign “will have enough resources to get its message across.”

“Voters need to know that Jon Fetterman is crazier than you think — with plans to socialize medicine, release a third of all prisoners and speed up inflation with more spending. It is the change we need,” Dr. Oz said.

Fetterman, who backed Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, has embraced an unorthodox set of issues in his bid for the Senate — from abolishing the disruption to raising the minimum wage and combating gun violence, to breaking away from his party over immigration and mask mandates.

it’s a Attempting to win over disaffected Trump votersand his campaign continues to criticize Oz.

“In Washington, he’s not going to fight for us, because frankly he doesn’t care about the people of Pennsylvania,” Calvilo said.

Fetterman’s attacks also give Democrats more ammunition to criticize Oz.

“Let’s be honest, we want someone from Pennsylvania, not someone from Hollywood who will pretend they know what he’s talking about,” said Shelby Strohmer, a 59-year-old Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2020 in the overwhelmingly pro-Trump section of the Northwest. Pennsylvania.

Rep. Dan Miser, R-P., asked about Fetterman’s attacks on Oz as a New Jerseyian, and noted that he supported McCormick in the primary but defended Oz’s ties to Pennsylvania.

“He lived in New Jersey – i.e. Oz. He went to the University of Pennsylvania. His wife is from Pennsylvania. He wants to represent Pennsylvania,” Moser said in an interview. “For me what’s really important is: Where are you from in terms of national security? Where are you in domestic energy? Where are you at the border? … Oz is on the right side of it.”

Oz has also been in touch with the man seeking to replace him: Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, who is retiring after two terms. Tommy cuts a unique profile as one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress — but a critic of Trump, voting to convict him on impeachment charges of inciting the January 6 rebellion.

“I totally support Dr. Oz. I didn’t put it as an official announcement, but there’s no secret about it,” Tommy said, adding that he and Oz had “spoken many times,” including about strategy in the Senate race.

Tommy said Oz is “very smart, very thoughtful” and accomplished. “He’s very humble. And when we spoke, he was very willing to consider advice.



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